Wednesday February 20, 2019
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Death toll continues to rise after Suicide Truck Bombing in Baghdad

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Iraqi men grieve at the scene of a deadly suicide car bomb at a commercial area in Karrada, Baghdad, July 4, 2016. Image source: AP
  • Iraqi officials said Monday at least 151 have died in one of the deadliest attacks in Baghdad since the American invasion of 2003
  • Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered tighter security measures in Baghdad, but on the streets some Iraqis expressed anger over the government’s inability to keep residents safe
  • The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the truck bombing, saying it targeted Shi’ites.  The mainly Sunni militants consider Shi’ites heretics

After Sunday’s suicide truck bombing in Baghdad, death toll continues to rise as more bodies are recovered from the rubble

Iraqi officials said Monday at least 151 have died in one of the deadliest attacks in Baghdad since the American invasion of 2003.

Suicide truck bombing in Baghdad. Image Source: Reuters
Suicide truck bombing in Baghdad. Image Source: Reuters

At least 200 people were injured and officials say that number may continue to grow as rescuers dig through ash and rubble using shovels and their hands.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered tighter security measures in Baghdad, but on the streets some Iraqis expressed anger over the government’s inability to keep residents safe.

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The U.S. Department of State condemned the attack, noting the blast was timed to coincide with crowds flooding the Karrada markets as Muslims broke their daily Ramadan fast.

Suicide Truck bombing site. Image Source: Reuters
Suicide Truck bombing site. Image Source: Reuters

“We will continue to unite the world against this evil, remove their safe havens, and uproot their global networks,” the statement read.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the truck bombing, saying it targeted Shi’ites.  The mainly Sunni militants consider Shi’ites heretics.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he is “appalled by the utter disregard for human life” shown by those responsible for the bombing.

U.S. National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said Sunday the United States remains united with Iraq in their combined efforts to destroy Islamic State.

Investigation at suicide truck bombing site. Image Source: Reuters
Investigation at suicide truck bombing site. Image Source: Reuters

Last week, the U.S. envoy to the coalition against Islamic State said he believes the coalition is moving at a tempo that will lead to the ultimate defeat of IS.  Brett McGurk told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that IS territory has shrunk by almost 50 percent in the last 18 months.

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But CIA Director John Brennan said a week earlier that Islamic State has no intention of slowing fading away, and instead it has been shifting its focus to ensure it remains the world’s top terror organization.

Two years ago, militants were removed through large area of northern and western Iraq. Iraq forces fighting on the ground and US led coalition of airstrikes reclaimed the territory including Fallujah, but still IS controls various cities including Mosul.

Deadliest IS Attacks in Iraq This Year

June 9: Two suicide bombers kill more than 20 in Baghdad

May 17: Wave of bombs across Baghdad kill almost 70

May 11: Car bombs in Baghdad kill more than 75, deadliest attack was at Sadr City market

March 25: Suicide blast kills 30 south of Baghdad

March 6: Suicide truck bomber kills 47 in Hilla

February 28: Attacks across Baghdad kill dozens

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Source: voanews

  • AJ Krish

    Suicide bombings and acts of terrorism everywhere. How many lives must be lost till people understand that they have lost their humanity ?

  • Aparna Gupta

    Its another example of IS terrorism and it is growing every day. A single country cannot fight it alone.

Next Story

US Military Planes Deliver Aid to Venezuela-Colombia Border

The aid will be delivered to Cucuta, Colombia, where other food and medical supplies are being held.

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US, colombia, venezuela, military
FILE - Demonstrators who are against the Venezuelan government chant outside of the Organization of American States during the special meeting of the Permanent Council, in Washington, April 3, 2017, to consider the recent events in Venezuela. VOA

More than 200 tons of US humanitarian aid intended for Venezuela is scheduled to begin arriving just across the border in Colombia Saturday, delivered by US military cargo planes.

The aid will be delivered to Cucuta, Colombia, where other food and medical supplies are being held.

The aid comes at the request of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido to ease shortages of food and other essentials in economically troubled Venezuela.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said the aid is part of Washington’s political maneuvering to get him out of office, and he has blocked off a bridge needed to bring the supplies into Venezuela.

The United States said Maduro’s election was unfair and illegitimate, and U.S. officials and scores of other nations have recognized his rival, Guaido, as the country’s interim leader.

US, Colombia, Venezuela
Sacks containing humanitarian aid are pictured at a warehouse near the Tienditas cross-border bridge between Colombia and Venezuela in Cucuta, Colombia, Feb. 14, 2019. VOA

Adding pressure

On Friday, Washington added to the political pressure on Maduro by sanctioning the head of Venezuela’s oil company as well as top intelligence officials.

Earlier Friday, Guiado’s representatives collected aid pledges from many nations at a meeting of the Organization of American States in Washington, where 25 countries promised more than $100 million in humanitarian aid to Venezuela.

“We came to ask for the solidarity of the governments of the world,” said Lester Toledo, coordinator for international help for Venezuela. “We appreciate the diplomatic gestures. We appreciate the letters and the recognition of President Guaidó. But we ask for help, to make the humanitarian aid a reality. That all donations can let us purchase medical supplies that we really need.”

Venezuela, US, Colombia
If the aid does arrive in Venezuela, organizations like the Red Cross will help distribute the supplies with “neutral and independent” conditions, Mario Villarroel, president of Venezuela’s Red Cross, said. Pixabay

Distributing the aid

U.S. Ambassador to the Organization of American States Carlos Trujillo said Guaidó has a plan.

“I believe that President Guaidó has done everything possible to make Maduro accept the humanitarian aid. Maduro has no argument, the person sitting in power doesn’t let the humanitarian aid reach his people who are dying of hunger,” Trujillo said.

Guaido said the aid will be brought into Venezuela Feb. 23.

Maduro, however, said the aid will not be brought into his nation, and he blames U.S. economic sanctions for Venezuela’s problems.

ALSO READ: White House in Support of Trump’s National Emergency Declaration

“They’re putting pressure on Venezuela’s banks, which are in charge of purchasing and bringing the food and supplies. The White House is pressuring so that none of our bank accounts work. They have frozen billions of dollars that could otherwise buy food and medicine,” he claimed.

If the aid does arrive in Venezuela, organizations like the Red Cross will help distribute the supplies with “neutral and independent” conditions, Mario Villarroel, president of Venezuela’s Red Cross, said.

“We have the necessary experience, we know it is a very complex issue, but we will do our best to coordinate the distribution and organization of this humanitarian aid,” he said. (VOA)